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[Perspectives] Corridors of trivia

There has always been something about the work of Tom McCarthy—its show-boating and swagger, its pretentious ingenuity—which brings to mind a precocious art school student. Elements of McCarthy’s career seem to bear out such an assessment. His first book Remainder was published initially, after widespread rejection from conventional publishers, by a small Parisian firm, Metronome Press. He has written extensively about Hergé’s Tintin character through the lens of post-structuralist theory. With his friend, the philosopher Simon Critchley, he is the founder of an invented fraternity called the International Necronautical Society “devoted to mind-bending projects that would do for death what the Surrealists had done for sex”.